Speech and Language Therapy and Nursery Report

Then end of term is nigh and I can hardly believe than in two short months Harry will be starting Reception, full-time. I have no doubt that he will settle in easily although I naturally expect some level of tiredness for the first term or two. He already attends the nursery attached to the school 2.5 days a week, wears the uniform and enjoys going. He clearly thrives on going and asks every day what day it is, is excited when it is a nursery day, disappointed when it is not even though we do lots of things with him!

At the beginning of March we had a bit of a wobble after his outgoing nursery teacher informed us that she thought it would be worth Harry having a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment. Just before she left on Maternity Leave, she confirmed that she had made the referral and again reassured us that it was more of an early intervention "just in case" measure, than obvious cause for concern.

As the months passed and the new teacher settled in, I frequently asked if Harry was meeting expected levels and if there had been any progress with regards to the SLT referral. Each time I was reassured that the school were on top of it and that there were no causes for concern in terms of his development.

Having been frustrated at the lack of progress in terms of SLT intervention and not knowing whether further support was required, I have arranged a private speech therapist to come to our home for an assessment on Thursday morning. I was then advised by my Auntie to get in touch with the SLT team directly, to check if they had received the referral and whether they could give me an idea of when I could expect an assessment. I was pleased to receive a prompt response but disappointed when it quickly became clear that the school have been at fault (for want of a better word). I was informed that the original referral was not made until the end of May (remember, the first conversation was at the beginning of March) and that in June the SLT team had requested further information, which has yet to be forthcoming.

I was further surprised when last Friday I received his report "grading" Harry in all areas as at 22-36 months, having turned 4 years old at the beginning of May. These areas include (but are not limited to) "self-confidence and self-awareness", "making relationships", "health and self-care" "speaking" and "understanding". Whilst I understand that ANY school report, much less one made in nursery, cannot possibly cover all angles, I was, along with other people who know Harry well, quite literally shocked at him being graded as at BARE MINIMUM 13 months younger than he is. The comments are nothing but positive.

My husband and I both show an active interest in what happens while Harry is at nursery and regularly ask questions. I have voiced interest in becoming a parent governor, the husband was among the first of the parents to volunteer as a helper on a recent outing. We both feel that there have been ample opportunities, instigated by one or both of us for perceived issues to have been brought up before. Why wait until now?

I know I shouldn't worry but I do. Not so much that Harry is potentially delayed, I know children do things at their own pace and everyone loves and adores Harry, commenting on how polite and happy he is and at this moment in time, that is far more important to me  I am however concerned because this is the school he will be attending, I worry that this has given me an insight into the support and systems (or perhaps lack thereof) that are in place. I worry that we have made the wrong choice over school, perhaps we should have thought about things like this back in September when we put our application in. Things change and then we picked largely based on not wanting to have to uproot him yet again, something we still do not want to do.

I have emailed the headteacher, who I am sure will be none too pleased to receive my request for a meeting with a week left of term. I hope that we receive reassurance somehow, that my fears are somehow unfounded.

I am not in a place that I expected to be in. I want to look forward to the summer holidays, to be confident again in my choice of school. Instead I find myself fretting, concerned that my four-year old son's needs are not being met and wondering if he would be better catered for elsewhere.

Have you experienced a similar situation with your child? How did you handle it?

11 thoughts on “Speech and Language Therapy and Nursery Report

  1. That's rubbish, I think they sometimes forget that they're dealing with real people and not numbers. I hope you get some answers soon and although I know you will worry, I hope you don't worry too much. I've met Harry a couple of times and he's a lovely little boy who seemed perfectly fine to me x
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  2. It's difficult isn't it but as you say they all develop at different rates. The next set of objectives are graded at 30-50 months so without seeing the report he would be emerging in these areas which is correct for his age.
    The assessment should give his care givers objectives to meet and next steps to work on - have you been given anything to work on at home?
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    1. Post author

      The assessment for Speech and Language Therapy is tomorrow.

      This is what has confused us, there are no guidance notes on how to interpret the report so it just comes across that he is delayed. Hopefully someone can explain it to us better and leave us feeling satisfied.

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  3. The joys of EYFS , push push and push I had this when mine was younger. Do ask for work to with him at home, it's part of the frame work.
    EYFS cover right up to the end of reception.
    Always ask ! and push push the nursery
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    1. Post author

      This is what is frustrating, we have asked and always been told that we are clearly doing something right as they have never seen any issues with him. Maybe the grading is right for his age, I don't know but without an explanation it doesn't feel that way.

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  4. Glad to see on social media that you have had a decent response from the head about this, am just sorry they cocked it up in the first place- seems to me parents have to fight every step of the way to get help for their kids! My big two both had problems with speech and my boy with social skills, and are both flying high these days, so try not to worry - as you say, he is a lovely, polite and most importantly happy little boy, the rest will come with time xxx
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    1. Post author

      Thank you Sonya. I think it can be so hard to interpret the measurements, perhaps they should have included notes as to how they measure! We shall see what the meeting brings. 🙂 x

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  5. So sorry to read this. You have done all you can to hurry things along and work with the school. You couldn't have known that this sort of issue would arise when you applied for the school last year. I find it incredible that if he really is that far behind in his development (which I suspect he isn't) that they didn't let you know a lot sooner. If it was one or two areas that might not be such a concern, but to be across the board, they should have let you know. And if they're wrong in their assessment, that's a concern too. I hope it all gets resolved and try not to spend the summer worrying. x
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    1. Post author

      Thankfully we won't have to wait all through Summer; the head has emailed this morning to say that the EYFS head will arrange a meeting to go through the report with us and she will also try and find out what has happened with regards to the speech referral. x

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  6. I think emailing the head was exactly the right thing to do. The worse thing is to stew on something or talk to other parents about it, before trying to get to the bottom of it. If the head is a good one, she should respond immediately and happy to allay your fears/address them. I think I saw on twitter that she has? I do hope so. x
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